The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

Se­na­tors ques­tion­ing the logic of a pro­posed merger be­tween AT&T and Time Warner turned their fo­cus to the how the $85.4 bil­lion mega-deal would af­fect Amer­i­cans.

AT&T CEO Ran­dall Stephen­son as­sured the mem­bers of a Se­nate an­titrust panel Wed­nes­day that it will bring the con­sumers bet­ter price op­tions than what they have to­day. Still af­ter hours of ques­tion­ing, the skep­ti­cism of some se­na­tors seemed to deepen over what would be one of the largest me­dia merg­ers ever.

New Audi car can “read” traf­fic sig­nals. Audi this week is un­veil­ing

tech­nol­ogy that en­ables ve­hi­cles to “read” traf­fic sig­nals ahead and tell the mo­torist how long the wait will be. It’s a sim­ple dis­play for the driver — a dash­board traf­fic sig­nal icon and a timer — but the tech­nol­ogy be­hind it is more com­plex. It uses 4G LTE cel­lu­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the ve­hi­cle and a cen­tral­ized traf­fic man­age­ment con­trol net­work.

The com­pany the­o­rizes that a driver who knows when a light will turn green is more re­laxed and aware.

ECB ex­pected to ex­tend stim­u­lus for 6 months. Faced with weak

growth and in­fla­tion across the 19coun­try euro­zone, the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank is ex­pected to ex­tend its stim­u­lus pro­gram for at least another six months when it con­cludes its pol­icy meet­ing Thurs­day. Last month’s vic­tory by Don­ald Trump in the U.S. elec­tion and the un­cer­tainty gen­er­ated by the re­cent Ital­ian ref­er­en­dum, which prompted Pre­mier Mat­teo Renzi to of­fer his res­ig­na­tion, will make the de­ci­sion all the more straight­for­ward, an­a­lysts say.

Job post­ings still healthy.

U.S. em­ploy­ers posted fewer jobs in Oc­to­ber than the pre­vi­ous month, but job open­ings are still at a mostly healthy level that points to steady hir­ing ahead. Job open­ings slipped 1.8 per­cent to 5.5 mil­lion, the La­bor De­part­ment said Wed­nes­day. Hir­ing also fell to just un­der 5.1 mil­lion, while the num­ber of peo­ple quit­ting de­clined to about 3 mil­lion.

While solid, the data weak­ened from Septem­ber, sug­gest­ing that hir­ing is un­likely to ac­cel­er­ate be­yond its cur­rent mod­er­ate pace soon.

Con­sumer bor­row­ing up in Oc­to­ber. Con­sumers in­creased their

bor­row­ing in Oc­to­ber at the slow­est pace in four months as growth in credit card debt and the cat­e­gory that cov­ers auto loans and stu­dent loans slowed. To­tal bor­row­ing rose $16 bil­lion, the Fed­eral Re­serve re­ported Wed­nes­day. Re­volv­ing credit, which cov­ers credit cards, in­creased $2.3 bil­lion in Oc­to­ber. The non-re­volv­ing cat­e­gory, which cov­ers auto loans and stu­dent loans, rose $13.7 bil­lion.

Econ­o­mists watch bor­row­ing trends to gauge how con­sumer spend­ing, which ac­counts for 70 per­cent of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity, will fare.

Star­bucks plans 12,000 new lo­ca­tions world­wide.

Star­bucks plans to open 12,000 new lo­ca­tions within five years to boost its num­ber of cof­fee shops world­wide by al­most 50 per­cent. The Seat­tle-based chain is also adding more food to its menu in 2017 and soon cus­tomers will be able to talk to the Star­bucks app to or­der a latte or cookie in­stead of tap­ping their smart­phones.

Pfizer fined for hik­ing epilepsy drug price 2,600 per­cent.

Bri­tish reg­u­la­tors fined U.S. drug­maker Pfizer and dis­trib­u­tor Flynn Pharma a record $112.7 mil­lion Wed­nes­day for in­creas­ing the cost of an epilepsy drug by as much as 2,600 per­cent.

Pfizer and Flynn Pharma charged “ex­ces­sive and un­fair prices” for the drug used by 48,000 peo­ple in Bri­tain, the Com­pe­ti­tion and Mar­kets Au­thor­ity said.

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